Book Review: Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silvaby Jonathan DuHamel on Apr. 23, 2012, under Book Reviews
In this novel, Gabriel Allon is a spy/assassin/art restorer who wants to retire to Cornwall. However, he becomes involved in a terrorist bombing in London and is drawn into an international plan to infiltrate and take down an Islamic terrorist ring. The post-bin Laden plot involves double agents and reluctant allies. Even the title of the book has multiple meanings. The story carries the reader from England and America, across Europe, to the Middle East.
This book is rich in location details and gives one an insight into both the world of art and spycraft, as well as the sometimes self-serving, myopic politics of competing intelligence agencies. Silva, through one of the characters, campaigns against Muslim treatment of women, and in both the story and in an Author’s Note, comments on the duplicity of the House of Saud in the war on terror.
Silva has written several novels in this genre, but this is the first I’ve read. I will look up some of his other works.
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